NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Welfare Effects of Coordinated Assignment: Evidence from the NYC HS Match

Atila Abdulkadiroğlu, Nikhil Agarwal, Parag A. Pathak

NBER Working Paper No. 21046
Issued in March 2015, Revised in June 2017
NBER Program(s):ED, IO, LS, PE

Coordinated single-offer school assignment systems are a popular education reform. We show that uncoordinated offers in NYC’s school assignment mechanism generated mismatches. One-third of applicants were unassigned after the main round and later administratively placed at less desirable schools. We evaluate the effects of the new coordinated mechanism based on deferred acceptance using estimated student preferences. The new mechanism achieves 80% of the possible gains from a no-choice neighborhood extreme to a utilitarian benchmark. Coordinating offers dominates the effects of further algorithm modifications. Students most likely to be previously administratively assigned experienced the largest gains in welfare and subsequent achievement.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21046

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